v.1  n.3  2019
Alternative Experiences
v.1  n.3  2019
Alternative Experiences
Narratives

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THREE VOICES OF CONTEMPORARY LATIN-AMERICAN POETRY

Lucía González and Luciana di Leone
Núcleo Poesía (Laboratório da Palavra – PACC - UFRJ)
Colaborators: Estela Rosa, Taís Bravo, Claudia Sampaio, Juliana Assis, Núcleo Tradução (Laboratório da Palavra - PACC - UFRJ)

It is always difficult to do an anthology. A narrow cut-off can never account for heterogeneous poetic experiences. From the small space of this anthology - selected, presented, constructed and translated collaboratively by Laboratório da Palavra (PACC.UFRJ) - we intended to maintain and deepen this diversity of dictions without fulfilling the need of representing a geographical diversity. In Latin America, that tends to separate Brasil from Caribbean, or Caribbean from the Southern Cone, the Southern Cone of Latin America from the Mexican Gulf, the challenge was to put those spaces both in contact and in conflict so that it was possible, at the same time, to show diverse poetic voices and, more, voicesconcealed by inequality. For this reason, we present here three young female Latin-American poets and from each of their poems, and in very different ways, Valeska Torres, Minerva Reynosa and Rita Indiana situate us in very different spaces, both geographical and discursive: the periphery of Rio de Janeiro, the frontier of Mexico and the United States and the streets of Dominican Republic, the ways of inhabiting this island.

Valeska is from Rio de Janeiro and the periphery that is drawn in her poems is made of smells, of animals and of non solving calculations. The periphery is geographical: the favela, Caxias-Méier, but also it is what gets marked in the body and that stays out. The periphery shovels Rio de Janeiro instead of expanding it and lets their most profound cavities uncovered, cavities that open up from the coup that appears in Valeska’s poems as a way to originate the world and Rio de Janeiro, a coup that repeats indefinitely and that perpetuates the holes as the bodies that inhabit them.

Minerva Reynosa is Mexican, more specifically from Monterrey, a state in the northern of Mexico in the frontier of the United States. In her poems the periphery appears as this space that is at the same time a periphery and a boundary. It also plays - even with the form - with the possibility of escaping. The first poem by Minerva is a block, closed in its four sides. The periphery which Minerva talks about is in the center of this block and it seems, at the same time, an attracting and repelling center. We get to this periphery through the house, the bed and the couple’s problems. Even though this center, this periphery and suburbs denies itself as a vanishing point when tracing again the way to this also closed feminine body: there are no kids, there is no menstruation.

But, Minerva’s Monterrey extends through the form of the poem until it touches another space, the frontier, where what is named seems to be exactly this instance of liminality: the passport, the cerberus, another language. The space seems to open up and it is not the bed anymore, not even the second floor, nor the interior of the female body, but there is also no possible escaping. The poem inscribes itself in this limbo, far south of the United States and to the north of Mexico, where language - this accented English - and the subject disfigures themselves.

In Rita’s poems, the city is full of crazy people and a body that is only named when it is interpellated. It is a body that acts: cleans, takes care of the backyards, organizes what is from others. But, besides that, the voice of the body repeats and deviates from the possibility of identity. With Rita it also appears an island: coconut, hurricanes, beauty contests, Caribbean clichés, a dream beach and Trujillo. It appears a voice that is a body and is a city that assembles and dissembles, being at once a very particular and a nobody’s thing. The history of Dominican Republic and the everyday life of the bodies that emerge from Rita’s poems successively named creating an impossible testimony in which no one gets close to listen.

The periphery that is drawn in the course of these three poets work is not, or is not only, a geographical periphery. It is a periphery’s voice that transits over the language in an alternative way, forcing it to say what is normally not said. The alternative experience of periphery, in a city that is at war against the poor, in an island, in a frontier, it is also an experience of the body and the voice. A voice that rises, in its difference, and emancipates itself.

Translation: Juliana de Assis

 VALESKA TORRES (BRASIL)

In a galaxy far far away...

light-years ago
there was a black hole
so black and deep
that it’s confounded
with disposals
up in the slums
digging
one more grave one more grave one more grave one more grave one more grave
of a rogue 

translation: Núcleo de Tradução

Pissed

the stopper blows out against my forehead
in light bege panties piss running down between my
legs the yellow metallic liquid: a dirty woman.
in secret tries, i stick my fingers
between the throat when i,
would stick them between the lips of my pussy if i was allowed
to cum, if i was allowed to ………………………………
a bunch of banana with
granola, it bursts
my pants zipper when i gobble a banana bunch with granola
eating banana (silently so that no one hears my tongue soaked in saliva)
i am ashamed of being a dirty woman that likes eating bananas
around chewing silently doing a pap underneath the tongue
i do not want any one to see me
any one to listen to me
eating at the frayed seat of caxias x méier
nor that any one ask me why do i pee my pants when a stopper blows out against my forehead
i don’t want any one to see my hair underneath the armpit that
i shave
everydayeverydayeveryday
i shave my armpit
hair without any rite
without any failure
i clean the ugly and dirty hair of the dirty woman i am.

translation: Juliana de Assis

 Herd

 Six o’clock in the afternoon,
a sow going to slaughter, a crowd of pigs.
Uniform: gray and blue, Brazilian flag, public
educational unity. a well-dressed sow.
Educational public system and a herd of black
pigs trying to learn
that Jesus has blue eyes
he is a whitey,
when tanned has to use water paste.
Educational public system what is the use of knowing
how to count, if in the end of the month there is nothing left
for the sow that works to pay bills? To sustain a home?
End of a day of work, beginning of
a night of grazing the belly next the stove
a shotgun with still warm
barrel i put the bullet right on the face of the
douchebag
i live up to my wage.

translation: Juliana de Assis

MINERVA REYNOSA (MÉXICO)

another space dynamics
the border
with another chico with another
habit
at cerberus
the ship groping through the prairie
hill
intergalactic young men of light
sun
incandescent wet back my passport
I pass by the mount
long the distance with another name
another space another subject:
who stay in the Grass
disfigured

(trad. Vinícius Fialho)

on the second floor in bed the problem with my ex-boyfriend should be sacred I think about you laughing in a weirdextravagant/garish way in the end with the present of some time together I think I cry on the kitchen floor warming on the pla-nets jamaica spain geographic enlargement to think mountain I think oh lord how would we be now would we love the sofa the lips the passport and then the lovers others hidden from the addicted lovers towards the future the kidnap neither drowsiness nor scream the pavement tessitura trinities trots north peripheries suburbs I cry keloid I think lying down bruised arm burnished gold pray bath relief scabies encephalogram volitional treatment I anonymous mouth anima next to my ex-boyfriend I unable to enjoy the acquitted girl with the red limb adulterated devising the grunt colored juice scarlet colored the sky meekness the girl not the violet cloud violet in parts bipartite exfoliating the matrix with no cervix the childless matrix the matrix burnished in strikes locked altered I thrown on the floor trans-presentiment the skin the girl the violet one how would we be now and I think about you without screams nor dog nor sun without menstruating yet

translation: Vinícius Fialho

RITA INDIANA (REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA)

In name

to me without names
without birthdays
without genetically manipulated chicken
without a kitchen to fix me a coffee
without name
without golden
I
am the one that waits for my brothers under a three-colored coverlet
that isn’t the country
it’s another alcoholic thing
by the waste and the Discovery Channel
I
am the fervent Toño admire
the star of the dogs that flutter like
cannibals garbage butterflies
the one that plays with the matacueros, without any shame
sonofabitch
that it’s not me
the one that sees the quartered city still needs
your old names
how can no one have seen them yet?
why no one rises the phone?
the secretel is the mark of the beast
Come on please
free me from this cut face island
that don’t remember its abortions
I return being me
the childhood of a cybernetic kitty
the small dirt of a soft catholicism
betting my luck
on the caribbean sky’s heart
the last hurricane
that will come through all the doors
the hurricane
that is a metallic spider
with eight golden shovels
I hold it in my hand
and my hand is the island
and, as always,
it’s so pretty

(trad. Giulia Benincasa)

Testimony

I am
the only one that has seen
the embryo of the apocalypse
at the head of the bridge
like a graffiti
represents me has anointed me
and disordered me
buried the fluorescent sword
baptized with dead steel
I’m your mommy flight attendant beauty queen of
the passion of one christ the king
the notion of the deepest leisure
the skinny gum-chewer stork
the flatfoot strategist
the one I am and will be para siempre jamás
the mortality infected by contests
televised, carnivals of the third world
searching for the truth
in the capital’s nobles’ sewage
in the little paws of wealthy cockroaches
of beauty parlours
finding myself in the night
solemnly dismantled
the joints broken from knocking on doors
and the cranes’ borders
that raise phalluses of the city up to the sky
the prophecy has announced that I
would come to fight the carcoma
of weekly fat and tombstones like suns
that pull down people’s
heads
like fruits
hammering
the street dogs
those that are my domain
filthy like the marquises of naco
knew about my arrival
it’s been centuries
I am the mother
tramps on the trijulhista’s unconscious my offspring
I’m the one that sticks the finger on the wound
I’m the open wound since the seventies in the white
face of Ciudad Trujillo
I’m the stuffed beast
I’m the plastic bag and the worm that searches
I’m the lonely flamboyant that welcomes
the ones in need
macho men who bottom
for soft drinks
this is the truth
I’m the candle that opens the way
the bad bitch standing on four cement legs
the woman I will never be
I’m something pretty much of my own
is it possible that no one understands this solitude?
Come on
burry all of me on the road
Where a thousand pale fungi will cover my buttocks
handead by magic
this magic mother of children that like me
roam in the dominican night rarefied by drugs
that poo expels in the full moon
come on
eat from my body
before time comes bringing it’s gillette that is a
grave
count for me the brats that would come after me
looking with their little eyes a faded photograph
of my present glory in pampers
Come on
bring perfume
fever eskimo i have it housed in the flesh
of my mirror
The city will ride in my back
and we will be as one
thing pretty much of my own
Golden holy barbara
Golden sweet puta
Golden luck’s Knorr car
Golden fate of the dead
Golden and holy don Manuel del Cabral, mad walking
naked chasing a verse
let’s cry like I would do in this case
and a prayer after
and a vision after
san Michael Jordan flying through Del Ensache air
Ozama
Come see me come running
the little motorcycles sabotaging all the luck dices
the malice’s speed
of a man of the mangrove
I’m the star of the unveiled dogs
the magnified Cibao like a storage that stores stones
to be eaten
the south only one dog accent
the east a desert of dead people cooked in a
diamond-shaped pan
everything under the howl
of the dog-man
a mutant that hires in his pockets
evil fleas
the death with teeth
bone-rodent
raging death que nosotros seremos para siempre jamás
the dog-man calculates his own weight looking at
the obelisk
the lots of cardboard in his back
anticipating the garden’s apocalypse
that is also a invention of my own
because all that is over this big city is mine
I gave it all a name
it was all
puppets of the dominican radiotelevision
missing dominican in a vickiana’s show
beauty contests’ loser
idiot number eight
desired in the blaguerista sunday
bitch old
bitch
pour golden
drool
I
come to me the power
of a xangô that is now a Pokémon
to me without names
without birthdays
without genetically manipulated chicken
without a kitchen to fix me a coffee
without name
without golden
I
am the one that waits for my brothers under a three-colored coverlet
that isn’t the country
it’s another alcoholic thing
by the waste and the Discovery Channel
I
am the fervent Toño admire
the star of the dogs that flutter like
cannibals garbage butterflies
the one that plays with the matacueros, without any shame
sonofabitch
that it’s not me
the one that sees the quartered city still needs
your old names
how can no one have seen them yet?
why no one rises the phone?
the secretel is the mark of the beast
Come on please
free me from this cut face island
that don’t remember its abortions
I return being me
the childhood of a cybernetic kitty
the small dirt of a soft catholicism
betting my luck
on the caribbean sky’s heart
the last hurricane
that will come through all the doors
the hurricane
that is a metallic spider
with eight golden shovels
I hold it in my hand
and my hand is the island
and, as always,
it’s so pretty

translation: Giulia Benincasa

Luciana Di Leone and Lucía González   |   Brazil

Are part of Laboratório da Palavra - PACC (UFRJ). The laboratory develops workshops, courses and poetry, editing, teaching and music residencies. These extension activities are frequently carried out alongside other non-university organizations, like collectives, NGOs or public schools

laboratoriodapalavra.pacc@gmail.com
Valeska Torres   |   Brazil

Born in Rio de Janeiro, 1996. She is a poet and has published in “Do rio ao mar” [Turista Aprendiz, 2015], a poem and short stories collection; in the poetry suíte “Seis temas à procura de um poema” [Flup, 2017], na antologia “Alma – Projeto Identidade” [Conexão 7, 2018]. In 2019, she published the book O coice da égua.

Instagram: valeskatorres_poeta
Minerva Reynosa   |   Mexico

Born in 1979, in Monterrey, Mexico. She is a poet, cultural producer, essayst and digital innovator. She is the author of Una infancia necia (2003),Atardecer en los subúrbios (2011) e Mammut (2017).

mine.bonita@gmail.com
Rita Indiana   |   Dominican Republic

Born in 1977, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  She is a writer, singer and composer and published: Rumiantes (1998), Cuentos y poemas (2017) y Made in Saturn (2018).

Instagram: ritaindianaisback
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Democracy and Periphery v.2  n.2  2018
The Paradigm of Potency v.1  n.1  2018
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